...Though in this case, we didn't really have any plans to begin with...
When we woke up this morning, the weather was calling for a dry top half of the day, and then for showers and thunderstorms to kick up around 3 o'clock or so.
We enjoyed a nice sleep-in, a delicious breakfast of 6-minute eggs, sauteed courgettes (zucchini) wild strawberries (of which you've never tasted the like), tiny sweet melons, and local cheese, and then we gathered ourselves together and set out for La Cite (the old city).
Incidentally, we're staying in the Bastide District, or "new" city which dates to around 1300. New indeed. An easy walk from Rue Voltaire, we made it across the bridge in 15 minutes or so, and it seemed the weather would hold for us!
For an hour or so we poked around the nooks and crannies of your typical European walled town - with twists and turns, steep uphills and downhills, breathtaking views and architecture, and a spectacular cathedral at the pinnacle of the city. We were keeping an eye on the time, but a good hour and a half ahead of schedule (WHY do we put our faith in weathermen???) the first few drops began to fall. Thinking they would soon pass, we continued meandering around until the clouds started dumping in earnest. Our main concern was our cameras, which we had brought out unprotected. Cursing the fact that we had left a perfectly good umbrella along with our jackets safe and dry back at the apartment, we trudged on a few streets more.
Coming upon lunchtime, we optomistically thought ducking into a restaurant might be a good idea to see if the storm would pass, or at least let up a bit. - Against both of our better judgement (which we later found out when comparing notes afterward - TIP: compare notes before making decisions) we settled on a cheap-ish place out of sheer desperation. With no atmosphere, subpar food that didn't settle well with either of us, and a card reading machine that wouldn't take our credit card (grrrr....), we left disgruntled, feeling slightly sick, and still wet. The one good thing that came of it was that they gave us plastic bags to protect our cameras. And admittedly, their French onion soup was rather tasty.
Halfway back home, the wind pick up (brilliant!), and as the rain responded in kind, in 5 minutes time, I was soaked through to my skivvies. Jesse noticed my shivering, and offered to run and pick up the car while I waited in a cafe and had some tea to try and thaw. I happily (well, no, happily was no longer a part of my emotional vocabulary at this point) took him up on his offer, and waited on my hero to come and rescue this damsel in distress! He did so half an hour later with a warm car, jacket, and change of shoes (bless him), and we drove the short ride home.
Glad to be back and in dry clothes, we thought our misfortunes for the day were over when we received word that: 1. A parcel we had mailed out before we left was stuck in customs and demanding $35 ransom, 2. That I couldn't log onto my wireless account to make some important changes because they couldn't verify my IP address, 3. That we had left Jesse's prescription sunglasses in our tour van yesterday which is based a few towns away, and bringing up the rear at number 4. That we had also left our good thermos at either the -1 star restaurant, or my storm shelter cafe in our haste to get home.
SO, I have decided that the best course of action is to take a very long hot shower (thank goodness for a tankless water heater in a very old building!), eat some of the marzipan my husband got in the square (adding some sugary insult to injury for my poor disgruntled stomach - I entirely blame the cassoulet at afore-mentioned restaurant - and hit the sack as early as possible, before anymore misforture could possibly add itself to this day.
But hey, I suppose that if you're going to have a terrible-horrible-no good-very-bad day, one in the South of France is infinitely better, and slightly more romantic, than a plain old bad day at home. Oui?